Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA Championship game by scoring a goal to beat Michigan in the Frozen Four with just seconds remaining.
The cardiac kids have done it again. Notre Dame’s hockey team scored a game-winning goal in the final seconds of their Frozen Four semifinal game against Michigan to advance to the National Championship. My heart rate has yet to return to a normal level and I doubt it will before the puck drops on Saturday night, when the Irish play Minnesota-Duluth in the title game.
That counts as cardio, right?
Here’s a quick recap of Thursday night’s game:
The Irish went on a power play early in the opening period, but came out of it empty-handed. After that, they were on the defensive for a good stretch in the middle of the period. Michigan is one of the best offensive teams in the NCAA, so this was expected.
Cale Morris turned away a barrage of early shots, but let one in around the 11-minute mark. A Michigan forward did a great job screening Morris on the shot, making it difficult for him to locate the puck.
The Irish were able to generate some more opportunities in the latter part of the first period, but didn’t have anything to show for it as they went to the locker room trailing 1-0. Overall, it was a rather uninspiring performance in their first period of play in the 2018 Frozen Four.
Before fans could return to their seats, the Wolverines added to their lead. The shot appeared to bounce off a Michigan player and a Notre Dame player before landing in the back of the net. Morris had no chance at stopping it.
Shortly after falling behind two goals, the Irish went on their second power play of the night. This one did not last long. After a solid offensive possession, junior forward Andrew Oglevie put Notre Dame on the board with a wrist-shot through traffic.
Senior forward and captain Jake Evans was set up nicely of a face-off and scored on a slap shot from Steph Curry range to tie the game at 2-2.
Michigan had two power play opportunities after the Irish tied the game. Notre Dame, riding a bit of momentum, was able to kill both power plays.
The intensity was certainly turned up in the second period. Notre Dame looked like a completely different team. The Irish manufactured a bunch of scoring opportunities, and the scoreboard reflected that.
Ninety seconds into the final period of play, Notre Dame won a face-off in the defensive zone and took it coast to coast. Junior forward Dylan Malmquist connected with sophomore forward Cal Burke for a goal that gave Notre Dame its first lead of the game.
Michigan went on another power play midway through the third period with hopes to tie the game. Cale Morris and the Irish penalty kill unit stepped up yet again to preserve the 3-2 lead.
The Wolverines were forced to get a bit more aggressive offensively in an attempt to tie the game. Morris turned away an array of shots, but let one past with just over five minutes left in regulation.
The intensity reached an all-time high with the game tied 3-3 in the final minutes.
Michigan arguably had better quality scoring chances late in the third period, but that didn’t matter when all was said and done.
For a moment, it appeared that the Irish were content with running out the clock, but they saw an opening and went on the attack.
Jake Evans netted a game-winning goal with 5.2 seconds left on the clock, which is par for the course for Notre Dame in this years tournament.
The Irish will play for the National Championship on Saturday night against Minnesota-Duluth. Coverage begins at 7:30 pm EST on ESPN.